Posted by: Stevie D | July 28, 2012

The Awesome Picos de Europa.

Jayney and I had passed through the Picos de Europa mountains on many occasions before on the bike.We have used the road through Potes many times on our frequent quests to find some southern Spanish sun. However, the area had never really endeared itself to us as every time we used the road we got, to varying degrees, wet. Indeed, the first time Jayney crossed the Picos, we had a massive thunderstorm and got a severe, boots-full-of-water soaking. As usual,when we left the mountains behind, the weather cleared to hot sun and we arrived at a roadside cafe with the temperature
in the mid-thirties. We must have looked an odd sight in this semi-desert environment as we trudged across the baking car park.Our boots made strange gurgling sounds and left little puddles with every step.Steam rose from our jeans and jackets. Like creatures from another world.
But the Picos de Europa mountains are like another world.
We camped at La Isla campsite near Potes and found it hard to drag ourselves away.The campsite itself is idyllic, overlooking, as it does, the Rio Deva. The site staff became friends and the site became, for a week at least, home.
Potes itself was a half hour walk away. Also on the Rio Deva, it’s old, quaint and, unfortunately, a bit touristy. But it has some good bars and a couple of supermarkets, so it’s not at all bad.

The town of Potes is worth a few hours of your time with it’s narrow, winding streets and timeless air.

The road to La Isla campsite from Potes. Go past La Isla and you end up at Fuente De.

But anyone who goes to Potes to see Potes is rather missing the point. It’s the mountains. Potes is the kicking off point for some of the finest mountain sightseeing tours you’ll find anywhere in Europe. The Picos are truely awesome.
Small, but perfectly formed,as a good friend of mine always says.
Anyway, as the old song says,’Climb every mountain’. And the old Harley took Jayney and I up most of them during our stay and where there was no road, we walked. No,sorry, that’s wrong. We didn’t walk, we took the cable car from Fuente De.
Photos can’t show the grandeur of what we saw.Words can’t express how well the Harley coped with some real heat and crazy,hairpin roads where you can go 15 or 20 miles continuously uphill.
But photos are all that I can share with you, dear readers. And perhaps encourage you to check out the Picos de Europa yourself one day.

Our first run out took us from Potes, through Panes and Cangas de Onis, taking in two of the highest passes in the Picos.

Not much to be said, so I’ll just post the photos.

The weather was perfect on the day.

At the Puerto de Panderruedas.

Same as the above.

Bit showy I know, but this one is for my mum.

Next stop was the Puerto de San Glorio, on the road back to Potes.

It’s downhill all the way from here.

Next day, we took a ride on one of the smaller backroads in the area. But it was no less spectacular.

You don’t need to be a great map-reader to find great roads in the Picos.

Looking for somewhere for a lunch stop, but this table was a bit tall for us.

So we stopped overlooking the dam at the Embalse de La Cohilla.

After lunch, a ride to help the digestion.

Another day saw us ride up through the village of Bejes.

Who was it sang about ‘Livin’ on the Edge’?

I said to Jayney ‘just one shot of the bike for the blog…….but would she listen?

The day before we left the Picos, we rode up to Fuente De and took the Teleferico (cable-car) onwards and upwards. That gets it own post next time. Thanks for reading.


  1. I was thrilled to see your post! We were hiking in the Picos and visited Potes too on a vacation 2 yrs ago. We thought it was a terrific vacation and loved the area. If you’re interested – check out our Spain postings on our blog.

  2. Checked out your blog. You guys certainly get around. Jayney and I are currently touring Europe and the blog is one way of keeping friends back home up to date. Thanks for looking in. Come back soon.

  3. I always fancied the Picos, thought they sounded spectacular even though I have no head for heights. I still haven’t got there despite living in Spain! (and Gibraltar)

    • We’ve travelled all over the peninsula over the last few months and although not the highest, I think they are probably the most spectacular mountains we’ve seen. Thanks for checking out the blog.

  4. We just came back from Colorado where we went specifically to see the mountains. There’s just something so majestic and beautiful about them, isn’t there? The mountains of Potes are incredible! I bet it was fun on the bike!

  5. Sure was Shadowrun. Some of those hairpins. As a famous football manager in England once said : ‘squeaky bum time’. 🙂

  6. Hi Stevie we met up with you at potes on the bmw’s Ivan and Scotty, just been reading through some of your blog, you are definatly living my dream. The places and people you meet will stay in your memory for ever. Hope the rest of your trip is just as good with lots of new adventures cheers Ivan

    • Big smile when I saw your message. Thanks so much for looking in. Hope to meet you guys on the road again somewhere in the future. Life’s a gas, as we used to say.

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